The Florida Marlins club has recalled its top middle infield prospect. Second baseman Chris Coghlan, who can also play third base, was brought up when right-hander Anibal Sanchez was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. The former supplemental first round pick out of the University of Mississippi in 2006 had been playing at Triple-A. He was hitting .344/.418/.552 with three homers and nine stolen bases in 96 at-bats.
Coghlan will likely see more time at third base rather than second, due to the presence of Dan Uggla at the keystone. As well, the Marlins’ current third baseman – Emilio Bonifacio – has been struggling recently after a scorching start to the season. Long term, though, Coghlan could afford the cost-conscious Marlins the luxury of trading Uggla (who has impressive power but poor defense) for much-needed inexpensive pitching depth.
Coghlan’s best position is second base due to his offensive profile, which includes average power at best. The left-handed batter slammed a career high 12 home runs in 2007 at the A-ball level. He hit just seven last year in Double-A, with an ISO of .130. Eventually, the 23 year old projects to be a 10-15 home run hitter. Although he is not a burner on the base paths, Coghlan has good speed and is a smart runner with 30 stolen base potential.
Sanchez’ injury also impacts the Marlins as it significantly damages the pitching depth for the big club, with starter Andrew Miller aleady on the DL. Sanchez is expected to be out about two months after his shoulder acted up this week (He had labrum surgery in 2007). Look for reliever Burke Badenhop to move from the bullpen to the rotation. The right-hander has been pitching in the bullpen for the Marlins. In five games, he had a 3.63 FIP with 10 hits and three walks in nine innings. Last season, the 26-year-old appeared in 13 games for the big club and made eight starts. He posted a 6.08 ERA (5.10 FIP) and allowed 55 hits and 21 walks in 47.1 innings. Badenhop has the ceiling of a No. 4 or 5 starter and his fastball has been missing a couple miles per hour this season over last.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.